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IBM memory trick makes servers run like the clappers

And saves vast sums for ISPs

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IBM boffins have packed a new memory compression technology onto a chip, which will, in due course, save squillions of dollars, and the world as we know it.

IBM's new Memory eXpansion technology keeps commonly used data close to the microprocessors for faster access, and compresses the less frequently accessed data, storing it in memory rather than on the disk.

By using a combination of hardware-based compression algorithms and millions of tiny transistors, IBM researchers have doubled server memory capacity for most applications. This means the processor is not slowed down by coding and decoding of data, making it much faster than software based compression. IBM says this speed will make it appear seamless to the end user.

The technology could be a boon to the low end of the Intel Server market, where price is the limiting factor, IDC analyst Mark Melenovsky told Associated Press: "Memory is one of the constraints that the Intel-based platform is facing in order to continue to expand."

With the retail cost of server memory at several thousand dollars per GB, a customer could save about $250,000 per rack of servers. For a typical ISP, this could represent a saving of millions since memory accounts for 40 to 70 per cent of the cost of memory hogging NT-based server systems.

MXT has initially been designed for Intel-based industry standard PC servers, but could be eventually adapted for use on home PCs.

There has been no announcement of price or a release date either in Europe, or in the States.®

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